If you’re planning on sending out mail from your business, whether a direct mailing campaign or other mail, it is important that you are aware of the different types of postage available for your use. This knowledge can help you save money by not inadvertently choosing a more expensive postage than you need and help you make sure your mail arrives in a timely fashion.
The postage type that most people are familiar with is First-Class Mail. First-Class Mail is one of the quickest delivery methods (letters arrive in 1-3 days) and is a good choice for any mail that is time-sensitive. First-Class Mail also includes the advantage of free forwarding and returns through the United States Post Office. In order to receive reduced bulk rates, First-Class Mail must weigh 13 oz. or less and have at least 500 pieces for mailing. First-Class Mail also has a special price for postcard-sized mail.
Your second option is Standard Mail or Bulk Mail. While usually cheaper than First-Class Mail, it has a longer delivery time (2-9 days) and does not have automatic forwarding or returning. For commercial pricing you can, however, send mail up to 16 oz. and the minimum amount of pieces is only 200.
If your company is a not-for-profit, then it is possible to apply for special not-for-profit postage. These postage rates are even lower than the normal Standard Mail rate, but follow the same delivery time frame.
Another option is for Bound Printed Matter. Bound Printed Matter is a good choice for mail that is heavier than either First-Class or Standard Mail requirements. The Bound Printed Matter price is more expensive than First-Class Mail, but can be used for pieces that weigh up to 15lbs. The bulk rate requires a minimum of 300 pieces and the pieces will be delivered in 2-9 days.
For your largest items (up to 70 lbs), your choices are Parcel Post and Priority. Both only need one piece in order to get the commercial price. Priority carries the highest price tag, but guarantees a quicker delivery (2-3 days) while Parcel Post is the cheaper option, but has a slower delivery window of 2-8 days.